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Rattlesnake at Cloudland Canyon
We have a deep love for the north Georgia mountains. A few months ago we saw this picture of a rattlesnake taken at Cloudland Canyon State Park that intrigue us to explored a little deeper into the photographer. John Wehner has a love of the north Georgia mountains as deep as our own and has been taking pictures of them for almost twenty years. The photograph of the rattlesnake was taken on the stone steps into Sitton Gulch (the original name of Cloudland), long a favorite hiking destination of ours.

During the warm weather months, this fast-moving pit viper can strike a deadly blow from twenty feet away in less than a second. Be aware that being still won't stop him. All pit vipers attack based on heat, not motion.

This is just one of the problems you can run into on a hike in north Georgia!

See Rock City barn near Cartersville
John has been photographing the mountains as a hobby, but recently became a serious photographer. He works at Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, and commutes there from Rome. With John's permission, we have picked some of our favorites to share with you. First, from U. S. Highway 411 and Georgia State Road 140 comes the famous "Rock City Barn."

Painted by Clark Byers, this is an original Rock City barn that was a common sight to any visitor to the Southeast from the mid-1930's to the 1970's. Slowly the original barns fell by the wayside, in part because of Lady Bird Johnson's beautification efforts and because of changes in the way America travels. Today, however, many of the remaining original barns are protected as historic buildings.

The barn in the picture has long been a favorite of ours and a different picture of it appears on our sister site, Roadside Georgia as the masthead.

Mill at Sixes in Cherokee County
The mill at Sixes has a history as long as north Georgia itself. Before the Land Lottery of 1832 divided the Cherokee Nation up to land-greedy Georgians, a group of men lived in the area and worked in relative secrecy, perhaps for ten years or more. The area is known for its gold vein (part of the vein that created the Georgia Gold Rush in 1829). Could they have been miners who knew about the gold and kept it quiet for 10 years? We will never know.

The current mill was rebuilt in 1880, about the time the Marietta and North Georgia Railroad made it to Canton. Cherokee County was going through a major growth spurt at the time, so the owners added the iron mill wheel and made other improvements.

Praters Mill in Varnell
Mills are always fun for any photographer and Prater's Mill is no exception. A yearly festival celebrates this antebellum mill that's on the National Register of Historic Places for Whitfield County, Georgia The mill was built by Benjamin Prater in the 1850's on the banks of Coahulla Creek in northwest Georgia. Prater and his family evolved the grist mill into an industrial center by adding a blacksmith shop, warehouses, a cotton gin and a store. Other businesses, not owned by the Prater family also grew in the area.

The Prater's Mill Fair occurs on the second week in October, a great time to visit the area because of leaf change.

Thank you, John, for sharing your work!

North Georgia Photography

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Cherokee Nation
Cloudland Canyon State Park
Georgia Gold Rush
National Register of Historic Places for Whitfield County, Georgia
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